Taylor, Egli finish 5th
Ross places sixth; Lockner, Licht eighth
DES MOINES — It was an impressive debut for classmates Carson Taylor and Levi Egli this week, as the Fort Dodge sophomores both ended their rookie state seasons with victories.
Taylor (113) and Egli (160) grabbed fifth-place finishes for the Dodgers.
Junior Drevon Ross (138) was sixth, senior Damond Lockner (145) eighth, and junior Triston Licht (195) eighth.
Taylor, ranked fourth, closed the tournament with a come-from-behind pin that gave the Dodgers a boost in the team race. He was trailing 6-0 against seventh-ranked Jakey Penrith (25-6) of Cedar Falls, when he escaped out the back and then he turned him and picked up the fall in 3:43.
“I wasn’t wrestling very well, and got caught on my back,” Taylor said. “I knew I had to do something, and I went really hard when I turned him.”
In his earlier match on Saturday, Taylor suffered a 7-4 loss to No. 3 Dillon Gottschalk (41-3) of Dubuque Hempstead.
In his first full varsity season, Taylor put together a strong campaign, going 41-8 overall. He finished the tournament with a 4-2 record, with wins over No. 5 Nate Kahoe (Des Moines Lincoln), No. 7 Penrith and No. 9 Noah Blubaugh (Ankeny Centennial). He defeated Isaac Crestinger of Dubuque Senior, 14-1, in his first match.
“It’s pretty awesome to come down to state and medal. I was hoping to get third, but I’m happy I made the podium,” Taylor said. “I knew I had to take it one match at a time.
“When you’re on that side (consolation), you do think about the team race, but I just wanted to compete and earn points.”
Egli (28-9) finished his tournament with an 8-3 decision over fifth-rated Alex Ward (32-8) of Dubuque Hempstead. In the consolation semifinal match, Egli lost to No. 6 Logan Neils of Ankeny Centennial, 6-4.
“It’s a pretty great feeling (medaling) once you come off the mat,” Eglin said. “Now we just have to load up and re-shoot for next year.”
The Dodger sophomore won his first two matches with a 9-1 decision over Nathan Siegworth (29-18), and a decision against ninth-ranked Blake Underwood (31-16) of Valley. Egli then ran into top-ranked and two time defending champion Nelson Brands (54-1) of Iowa City West.
“You’re defintley thinking about team points (on the backside),” Egli said. “I knew I had to come back and wrestle hard and get as many points as I could.”
Ross (42-13), ranked fifth, jumped two spots up the podium to sixth after an eighth-place showing last season.
After a semifinal loss on Friday night, he suffered a 3-1 loss to Carter Schmidt (34-10) of Norwalk in the consolation semifinals.
He dropped a 9-4 decision to Southeast Polk’s No. 7 Nathan Marchand (36-11) in the 138 pound fifth-place match.
It was a disappointing day for Lockner (43-8), who lost to Waverly-Shell Rock’s sixth-ranked Dalton Woodyard (38-17) in the seventh-place match. Lockner was fourth last year and eighth as a sophomore.
Lockner closed with a career mark of 130-32, which is the eighth-best win total in school history.
Licht (18-9), who was a state qualifier last year, lost by fall to fifth-ranked Ethan Barry (36-7) of Clinton in the seventh-place match.